Amritsar: The Government Medical College(GMC), Amritsar has recently lost 4 postgraduate students from the Department of Gynaecology. The students are said to have left their course in between.
Mixed Responses have been received regarding the reason of their departure from the course, It is believed that long work hours, due to the paucity of staff and senior faculty avoiding duty at times, was the reason behind the departure of students from the college, though vehemently denied by college authorities.
Speaking to Tribune, Principal, Dr Sujata Sharma said, “The students who left their courses had their own personal issues. The rules followed at the college are the same which are being followed by other colleges.” She clearly denied that junior residents were made to work overtime. The staff is adequate and there is no need for more manpower, she added.
However, Postgraduate students are believed to be doubling up as junior resident doctors and are the ones in direct contact with patients and their attendants. Manhandling of junior residents or senior residents is also reported frequently by patient attendants.
Speaking to the daily, a faculty member said, “As they are the only category of doctors available at all times, they are often at the receiving end. For all shortcomings on the part of the government and senior officials, junior residents are held responsible.”
MCI norms stipulate a maximum of 48-hour work a week and no shift extending beyond 12 hours is allowed say juniors. “The problem is very much genuine. The first year, the PG students remain at duty stations round the clock. There are no holidays and no leave for them,” said Dr Gagandeep Shergill, President, Resident Doctors’ Association, Punjab. Cases of suicide by junior residents have been reported, he added.
“In extended duty hours, no person can concentrate on his or her work. Junior doctors are highly stressed. That is why people often complain of rude behaviour. They cannot afford to say no to their senior officials as they have to get the degree,” said another faculty member, preferring anonymity to the Tribune.